Disclaimer: Dick Wolf and NBC own the rights to these SVU characters. I merely play with them when I can! Craig Russell wrote "Brother's Grimm" and I borrowed an aspect of the storyline. It is not nearly as detailed as his novel, but check it out, it's a fantastic read!
Author's Notes: This is my second fanfic. It's not really a sequel to 'Father', but you're more than welcome to read it anyway. This storyline is based loosely on the novel "Brother's Grimm" by Craig Russell. However, in that novel, the victims are adults, and the storyline much more complex. It's a fantastic novel and I urge you all to read it! Anyway, to make it an SVU storyline I had to have it involve kids, so it does. If you want the second chapter to be posted, you'll need to review; what's the point in updating if you don't have any fans? So leave me a post, no matter how short, just to let me know how you're finding it. Constructive criticism is most welcome. Without further blabbing by myself, I give you 'Fairytale'.
It was an unusually brisk October in New York. The wind was unforgiving and bitter, the streets deserted before eight at night, with darkness enveloping the city an hour before; winter was definitely around the corner. Elliot and Olivia got out of their parked sedan on the perimeter of Central Park, pulling their coats tighter around them as they approached the police tape that dissected a section of the park. The uniforms stationed sporadically along its length looked like statues silhouetted in the darkness of the trees; the flashing lights of the police cars and some street lights the only source of luminosity. They could see their breaths in front of them as they approached the nearest policeman; Olivia wishing she was back in bed snuggled against Elliot's warm body.
Elliot braved pulling his gloved hands out of his pockets to get out his badge, holding it in front of the policeman's face, "Benson, Stabler; SVU"
The man nodded, stepping aside to allow Elliot to pull up the tape for him and Olivia to get under. She smiled in thanks as she passed in front of him, before they made their way towards Melinda.
She smiled as they advanced towards her, "good evening detectives," she greeted, gesturing for them to follow her to where a protective tarp, hidden by the trees, was blowing in the steady wind. Elliot could see past the blue sheeting to where reporters and civilians, despite the hour, had begun to gather in numbers along the border of the tape. He turned his attention to where Olivia and Melinda were now squatting next to two bodies covered by sheets.
"What've you got for us?" He asked, his heart already constricting slightly as he observed that the bodies were far too small to be adult.
Melinda noticed his unease, "two Caucasian children," she started, pulling the sheets from their heads, "I'd hazard a guess at around seven years of age; a boy and a girl"
Their heads were full of golden curls; knotted from the rain that had been falling earlier, combined with the scarlet stain of blood. Their faces looked peaceful; too young to be victims of a crime like this.
Elliot shook his head, "they related?" He asked, noticing the similar features the two shared.
Melinda shrugged, "It would seem so, but I can't say for sure until an ID's called through, or I get the results of their blood work."
Elliot sighed, crouching down next to Olivia, who had turned the female's head to the side, "we were told they were sexually assaulted?"
Warner nodded sadly, "extensive bruising to the pubic and pelvic regions; the male was sodomised. It looks like they've been douched, so no fluids were present with the initial rape kit."
Olivia shook her head dejectedly, "cause of death?"
Melinda turned the male's head the way Olivia had turned the female's, "single gun shot wound to the back of the head"
Elliot looked up, surprised, "execution style?"
Warner nodded, "post-mortem lividity and the lack of blood suggests they were killed somewhere else and dumped here afterwards. This is a secondary crime scene," she pulled the sheets over their faces, and then pulled out the male's arm, "there are bruises on their wrists and ankles where they were restrained with a pattern consistent with some kind of rope or cable. We've taken a swab from under their nails; maybe they got a piece of their attacker?"
"Let's hope so," Elliot said, standing up straight again. He narrowed his eyes as he noticed that the gaggle of reporters had grown exponentially; the flash from their cameras illuminating the eerie darkness around them each time a photo was taken.
As Olivia rose off her haunches, a member of the CSU team called out to them from a nearby shrub, "detectives!"
Olivia handed Melinda's clipboard back to her, "see you at the autopsy"
Olivia joined Elliot's side as they made their way towards the CSU techs that were surrounding a group of shrubs bordering a pathway and cycling track.
"I've got something you might find interesting," O'Halloran informed by way of greeting. He held up two stickers inside separate evidence bags, "these were found on the bodies. We'll dust them for prints"
Elliot took them in his hands, reading them with a furrowed brow, "Hansel and Gretel?" He turned to O'Halloran, "that their names?"
O'Halloran shook his head, "no, your Captain just called through an ID; parent's reported them missing this afternoon," he read off his notes, "A Matthew and Fiona Wilcox"
"So they are related," Elliot said, handing the bag over to Olivia, "anything else?"
O'Halloran led them towards the bodies and pointed at a plaster cast another tech had setting in the dirt, "it's a footprint. It just rained so this is new. Also, this," he handed Olivia a plastic evidence container.
Olivia shook it in front of her, squinting as she trained her torch's beam on it, "bread crumbs?" She turned to Elliot, her eyes widening as realisation dawned, "Hansel and Gretel"
"He's recreating a fairytale," Elliot finished.
"Matthew and Fiona Wilcox; twins aged 7. They were reported missing by their parents after the kid's baseball coach called and said that they never showed up for sport's practice at about 5pm," Munch recounted, referring to the board in the middle of the bullpen with the children's photos, "Warner and CSU techs reckon we're looking for a primary crime scene, the park is secondary"
Olivia took over, "Lab estimates that the footprint lifted from the scene belongs to a male size 10 hiking boot – very generic. We contacted some of the major shoe suppliers, but they're too common a shoe to make any inroads," she finished shaking her head.
"What about the name tags?" Cragen asked, standing with his arms folded, taking in the information before him.
Elliot pulled the file up from his desk, "they were stuck on the left side of the victims clothing with the words 'Hansel' and 'Gretel' written in permanent marker," he passed the file to Cragen, "still waiting on the lab to get back to us on whether they lifted any prints, and for ballistics to let us know the make of the murder weapon"
"So we've got nothing for now?" Cragen stated flatly.
Elliot leant back slightly in his chair, "Liv and I were going to visit the parents this morning, see what we can find out about the victim's schedules, whether they have anyone to suspect"
Cragen nodded, "Go do that. Munch, Fin; canvass the park – rangers and joggers. They stick to routines; they may have noticed something or someone out of the ordinary," he finished, leaving them as his phone rang in his office.
Munch and Fin left together, as Olivia and Elliot pulled on their jackets.
"Maureen's birthday's today," Elliot said, doing up the buttons on his suit coat.
"I know," Olivia replied, as they made their way towards the elevators, "it's already taken care of"
He turned to her surprised, "what'd you do?"
She gave an impish grin, "you'll see"
Before he could interrogate her any further, the doors to the elevators opened. They entered, greeting the officers from vice inside. They made their way behind the group and stood in silence. Olivia could feel Elliot's eyes boring into the side of her head.
She turned to face him, feigning irritation, "what?"
He folded his arms, "Olivia, what are you hiding?" he asked quietly, so the officers in front couldn't hear.
"Elliot, you'll find out later," she eyed him conspiratorially, "about the same time she does"
The elevator stopped, and the officers from vice departed, leaving them alone.
"You're unbelievable," Elliot commented, trying to sound irritated; but Olivia saw right through him. The way the menace he meant to convey didn't reach his eyes; which remained tinted with laughter at their banter.
The doors finally opened to their level. Before they exited, Olivia turned to him, "yeah, but you love me"
"You jog with your eyes closed all the time?"
Munch and Fin were becoming agitated at the lack of co-operation they were receiving from those they were sent to interview. The joggers that they actually had managed to stop from rampaging past them, seemed more indignant that their morning run had been interrupted, than at the fact two young children were slaughtered along their route. As per usual, nobody saw anything. The jogger that they were talking to at the moment, had his hands settled resentfully on his slim hips, and his head-phones draped around his neck, the music so loud it was audible from where the detectives were standing.
"It's not that I jog with my eyes closed, Detectives," he huffed, a puff of hazy air escaping, "it's just that I don't specifically watch people as I do. I'm in my own zone," he gestured to the scenery surrounding them.
On any other day, Munch would agree with him; but after seeing the victim's lying within the scenery this man had mentioned, a shiver of a different kind went down his spine.
Fin clicked his tongue, "what? You run with your head up your ass?"
The man, looking offended, opened his mouth to answer back, but Munch cut him off, "Are you sure you haven't seen anyone or anything out of the ordinary?"
Still glaring at Fin, the man bit his lip thoughtfully, "well, there's this guy that sits at the same bench every time I go by. Seems a bit weird," he shrugged, "but we're in New York – everyone's a little crazy"
Fin snorted as Munch reached into his pocket for his card, "here, take this," he handed it to the man, "if that guy starts cutting or shooting anyone, call me"
The expression on the man's face went from anger to horrified so fast he could have gotten whiplash, "do I need to start taking another route?"
Munch smirked, as Fin snorted again, "don't worry, he's not interested in you – you're too old"
The man turned to Fin to gauge whether Munch was kidding or not. In return Fin gave him an unreadable expression, "just jog safely," he finally said, patting his arm as he and Munch walked past him.
"You need to terrify all witnesses?" Fin said as he and Munch returned to their car.
The Wilcox's two-storey house sat inconspicuously in a suburban and leafy street in Queens. It was the same cream colour, with the same green closely-mown lawn and beige picket-fence as the other houses that shared the street. The only thing that distinguished it from these, was the family name etched on the letterbox and the children's toys scattered on the front lawn. A heavy feeling settled in Elliot and Olivia's stomachs as they pulled up into the driveway. They exited the car, walking up the path that seemed twice as long as it really was. They paused at the bottom of the porch steps, taking a deep breath before scaling them.
"I hate this part of the job," Olivia said, as Elliot rang the doorbell. He nodded in agreement, pushing his hands deep into his pockets in his attempt to ward off the biting breeze.
The door opened slowly, and what they assumed to be Mrs Wilcox's face, appeared in its gap; red and puffy from crying, "Yes?" she asked quietly.
Olivia gave a small smile, "Mrs Wilcox?"
"Yes," she replied, sniffing.
Olivia pulled out her badge, "I'm Detective Benson," she pointed at Elliot, "and this is my partner, Detective Stabler. May we come in and ask you some questions?"
Mrs Wilcox paused, eyeing them warily. She finally nodded slowly, stepping aside to allow them entrance into the front hall. She closed the door behind them and led them down the corridor to the living room.
She gestured vaguely to the sofas, "take a seat, I'll get you something to drink," before they could protest, she'd already disappeared into the next room.
Olivia and Elliot exchanged a sad look, before settling side by side in the two-seater next to the crackling fireplace. The house was definitely cosy; the fire increasing the warm feeling. Yet, there also remained a cold space; filled by the various images of Fiona and Matthew resting against the walls and on the mantle within the room.
Just as Olivia's eyes scanned a full circuit of the room, Mrs Wilcox returned, followed by who she recognised as Mr Wilcox from the family picture to her right.
While Mrs Wilcox rested the tray of drinks on the coffee table, Mr Wilcox shook Elliot and Olivia's hand in introduction. As Olivia sat back down she pulled out her notepad while Elliot offered their condolences.
"Thank you detectives," Mr Wilcox said, sitting beside his wife, gripping her hands tightly in his own. Mrs Wilcox remained silent, tears staining her cheeks.
Elliot leant forward and spoke gently, "we have some questions we need to ask you," he paused, waiting for a reaction. When he saw none he continued, "Any information, no matter how insignificant you think it may be, could be pertinent to our investigation"
The Wilcox's nodded slowly, their heads the only parts of their body that seemed mobile. They were seemingly stunned into paralysis.
Olivia began, "did Fiona or Matthew complain about anybody giving them a hard time? Paying an inordinate amount of attention to them?"
Mrs Wilcox shook her head, holding back a sob, "they love school. They have so many friends," she gave a strained smile. Elliot and Olivia exchanged a quick look at Mrs Wilcox's use of the present tense – she still hadn't come to terms with her loss.
"What was their schedule like?"
Mrs Wilcox sniffed, giving a half-shrug, "well they have school everyday of course. That goes from 9-3; I pick them up and drop them off," she turned to her husband, "Jonathan works early and finishes too late, so I do," she turned back to them, "they have sports on Mondays and Fridays, with an extra period on Tuesdays" She stopped, reaching for a tissue to blow her nose.
Elliot raised his eyebrow, "they're only seven and they're doing extra credit? My kid's 18 and can't even pick a major. I'm impressed"
Mrs Wilcox smiled, obviously proud, "it's completely voluntary, but they love their teacher and it's their favourite subject."
Mrs Wilcox reached under the coffee table between them, pulling out a book.
"What's this?" Olivia asked, reaching for the book Mrs Wilcox offered her.
"It's like a text book. English is their favourite subject."
Elliot nodded, as he jotted the point down in Olivia's notebook. He stopped when he felt Olivia's hand on his forearm, getting his attention.
"Elliot," she breathed.
He didn't need her to elaborate any further. She was holding a copy of 'The Grimm's Fairytales'.